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A Fortuneteller in a Modern Metropolis

by Liang Hong, translated by Michael Day

Xian Yi wears brown-framed glasses and a permanent smile, holding a strand of prayer beads in his hand. While he talks, eats, and walks, the beads slip silently through his fingers. Something in the arch of his brow exudes peace. I am curious, sensing in him something artificial, something affected, yet his tranquil expression can’t be a put-on.

It seems unbelievable, but Xian Yi is a fortuneteller.

I spent my first two days in Nanyang at the ...

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China Dispatches: the best creative non-fiction available now

By Nicky Harman, March 13, '19

Paper Republic, One-Way Street Magazine and the LA Review of Books’ China Channel publish new essay by Chinese writer Liang Hong, translated by Michael Day.

Paper Republic is delighted to announce the publication of a new creative non-fiction essay. This marks the launch of a second series of Read Paper Republic: China Dispatches, a unique three-way collaboration between Paper Republic, One-Way Street Magazine (单读) and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ China Channel. The series focuses on translating the best non-fiction coming from China right now – and making it available online, completely free to read.

The first instalment – “A Fortune-teller in a Modern Metropolis” by Liang Hong – is translated by Michael Day. The essay tells the story of Xian Yi, a man in an old profession that is curiously out of step with modern China.

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The Wandering Earth: A Reading Round-Up

By David Haysom, February 15, '19

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Since its release on the first day of the Lunar New Year, The Wandering Earth (流浪地球) – 郭帆 Frant Guo’s adapatation of the Liu Cixin novella (translated into English by Holger Nahm) – has been setting box-office records, upending expectations of what a Spring Festival blockbuster can be, and apparently even inspiring a Durex ad:

Here’s a round-up of some of the responses.

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Chinarrative newsletter - In-depth storytelling from and about China.

By Nicky Harman, January 27, '19

For interested readers, here's an online newsletter, launched May 2018 and now twice-monthly. They feature Chinese longform in translation and also some original English submissions by Chinese authors. The founder and publisher is Colum Murphy, a veteran Asia-based journalist, and Min Lee is the current editor and lead translator. They would love to hear from the translation community, be it comments, suggestions or story ideas.

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Bridge Translations: Giving Credit where Credit is Due

By Bruce Humes, January 21, '19

China-based publishers are notorious for a misleading practice: the nationality of the author — not necessarily the language of the source text — is often noted on the spine or copyright page. Thus the reader may well believe she is reading a novel translated direct from the Swahili, when the source text is actually the English rendition of a Swahili original...

If you're interested in reading and/or adding to several comments on this topic, please click:

http://bruce-humes.com/archives/12862

And see the comments immediately below the article itself.

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The Chilli Bean Paste Clan in London

By Nicky Harman, January 17, '19

The Guanghwa Bookshop (Shaftesbury Avenue, London) was packed for our "[Un]Happy Family" event with Yan Ge and translator Nicky Harman last night. We talked about Yan Ge's novel The Chilli Bean Paste Clan (in Chinese《我们家》), its complicated characters, and what was in Yan Ge's mind when she created her middle-aged male [anti]hero, when she herself was in her mid-twenties. And we talked about the challenges of translating colourful Pixian Town obscenities into English, a language where swearing is kind of pale by comparison...and much much more. Thank you all for coming!

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Yan Lianke Interview with The Beijing News

By Bruce Humes, January 1, '19

Several of Yan Lianke's novels have not been published in China, or were initially published in Taiwan because he couldn't find a publisher in the PRC. Although he teaches at Renmin University of China in Beijing, the authorities seem keen to silence much of what he says, in fiction or otherwise.

Such is the case with a Dec 27, 2018 interview of him by The Beijing News (新京报), which has already been taken off the internet (looks like I'm wrong, see comments!), but saved -- for now anyway -- in a Google cache file.

Entitled 一个伟大文学的时代已经悄然消失, it can be found here in text form, and here with several photos (covers of his novels + a few of him).

I have copied the entire interview below in Chinese (text only).

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Roll-call of Book Translations from Chinese in 2018

By Nicky Harman, December 9, '18

We say this every year, but this really is a bumper crop. From classics to contemporary literature, poetry to scifi to short stories and a beautiful graphic memoir (Rao Pingru), our list this year has nearly forty novels or other book-length works, and six poetry collections.

And some of last year's books have won or been listed for prestigious prizes:

Remains of Life by Wu He, tr. Michael Berry (Columbia University Press), 2017, was shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award 2018.

Notes of a Crocodile, Qiu Miaojin, tr. Bonnie Huie (New York Review Books), was longlisted for the 2018 PEN Translation Prize and won the 2018 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize.

The Stolen Bicycle, by Wu Ming-yi, tr. Darryl Sterk (Text Publishing Company), was longlisted for The Man Booker International Prize.

Click Roll-call of Book Translations from Chinese in 2018 for the full list.

And finally, our previous years' lists start here.

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New Resources - Look Left

By Nicky Harman, December 3, '18

Paper Republic has produced some new resources, for general readers and for librarians. Resources for readers provides guidelines, links and suggestions, all on one page. The resources for Librarians, intended especially for librarians in schools and community groups, has two sections: Stories in the Original Chinese for Schools and Libraries and Chinese Books in English for Schools and Libraries. Check out the clickable links on the left-hand side of this page, under Resources

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